NEW YORK -- More promising signs that the economy is strengthening after its winter slowdown pushed stocks higher on Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose for the fourth straight day and ended at another all-time high. It closed above 1,900 for the first time on Friday. Small-company stocks and other riskier parts of the market, like Internet and biotechnology companies, also gained after being beaten down over the past few months.

The government reported that orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rose unexpectedly in April, powered by a surge in demand for military aircraft. Also, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose in May to the second-highest level since January 2008, just after the start of the Great Recession.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.38 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,911.91. The stock market was closed Monday for Memorial Day.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 69.23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,675.50.


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